Posts Tagged ‘english bitter’

Marston’s Resolution

January 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 1.8

Another beer that I sampled over the Christmas holidays now and what I think was my eighth Marston’s offering although I’ve not had anything new from the brewery in a while so I can’t be too sure. This one is a beer that was originally introduced sometime around the 1960’s and went by the Low C name to indicate that it was a low carbs offering from the brewery. In early 2004 the beer was re-branded under its current Resolution name and is a beer that I received as a Christmas gift as part of a gift pack that contained a few other beers that I’d already tried, including bottles of Hobgoblin and Spitfire but this was the only one I hadn’t already sampled previously. The beer came in quite a small, 275ml bottle which ended up being a blessing but here’s what I thought of it when I tried it at the very start of this year.


Appearance (3/5): A light copper to amber colour with a very clear body and a centimetre tall, foamy white head on top that holds relatively well. There was no signs of any visible carbonation with the beer and it looked quite still in the glass with the head eventually starting to turn patchy after a minute or so as well.
Aroma (4/10): Some subtle spice and grassy hops kick things off here, the beer turned out to be quite a light one on the nose with only a few touches of hay and some basic malts coming through in the early going. There is the odd adjunct sitting around the middle with a background sweetness and bread malts following on behind before some skunky notes see things out.
Taste (3/10): This one is almost like a lager initially with some corn and basic adjuncts featuring alongside some basic malt bitterness and the odd skunky vegetable flavour. There was a subtle spice around the middle and the odd bit of sweetness too but nothing concrete really. Towards the end some skunky bitterness and what can only be described as a musky taste started to come through but this wasn’t a pleasant tasting beer at all really.
Palate (1/5): Quite a light, weak and almost watery beer on the whole, this one was definitely a disappointment from the start with very little in the way of complexity or even flavour to it. There was a lot of carbonation to this one that made it seem lively but also a little over carbonated at times, bordering on gassy. There seemed to be a lot of adjuncts and the beer ended up with quite a skunky, off feel to it that wasn’t enjoyable at all.

Overall (6/20): Really poor stuff from Marston’s here and probably one of the worst from the brewery that I can remember trying; not an enjoyable beer at all. There was a weak, quite bland feel to proceedings and the taste was definitely lacking, I got some early adjuncts and the odd lager taste but none of this was enough to distract from the skunk bitterness or the cheap feel of the beer; definitely not one to seek out.

Brewed In: Burton-on-Trent, England
Brewery: Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
First Brewed: circa. 1960’s (rebranded in 2004)
Original Name: Marston’s Low C
Type: Bitter
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (275ml)
Purchased: North of Ireland
Price: Gift


Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (326 of 1001)

March 7, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.8

A beer that I’ve been on the lookout for recently and one that I actually spotted an earlier this year in a B&M Bargains store only to be put off buying it by the fact is was well past its freshness date and I wanted to give it a fair review. Luckily I was able to find a bottle in the Drygate bottleshop in Glasgow a few weeks ago and quickly grabbed a bottle. The beer is a regular cask offering from Oakham Ales and will be my third from the brewery, following on from their excellent Citra American pale ale and their fairly average Inferno golden ale, the later of which I reviewed here back in May of last year. Named after a Mr. Jeffrey Hudson, a royal courtier of King Charles I in the 17th century, the beer is another dry-hopped offering from Oakham and has been crowned Champion Beer of Britain in the bitter category twice, back in 1999 and again two years later in 2001 so I’m expecting it to be a good one for what will be the 326th beer from the 1001 list that I’ll have tried.

Jeffrey Hudson Bitter

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a very light and clear golden colour, this one has a few fine bubbles rising to the surface and is topped with a thin, white head that is a foamy and just about covers the surface of the beer with more of a build up to the one side. Retention is okay with the head eventually turning patchy and leaving some traces in the centre of the glass but it falls short of disappearing completely.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a fresh nose with some floral touches and a nice citrus backing plus plenty of pale malts to open things up with. The beer had some bread and cereal coming through which also added a moderate sweetness with some lemon not far behind. There was a few more hops coming through than I’d anticipated and the nose was all the better for it with the odd burst of fruit and some hints of bitterness towards the end as well; nice stuff.
Taste (8/10): Starting off in a similar vein to the nose, this one opens up with some citrus and lemon flavours along with a solid amount of pale malts and to a lesser extent some floral flavours, the bread malts are present here too. Around the middle I got some hints of tropical fruits with an earthy bitterness and biscuit malts not far behind before some musty touches come through towards the end. The beer was zesty and feature some nice but subdued hops, hay and grassy flavours as well as a further hit of citrus and some herbal flavours right at the end.
Palate (4/5): This one came through very fresh and zesty with moderate carbonation levels and a light-medium body as well as touches of sweetness, particularly with the nose. The beer was crisp and well-balanced with a lively feel and a moderate bitterness too; excellent stuff.

Overall (14/20): Very nice stuff from Oakham Ales here, this one was well-balanced and fresh with some good floral flavours and was exactly what you’d expect from a good golden ale. The beer was an easy one to drink with some good pale malts and bread to kick things off alongside a pleasant citrus zest and nice bitterness; it’s definitely one of the better beers of the style that I’ve tried of late and one that I wouldn’t object to having again at some point either; although it’s probably not quite as good as the breweries Citra pale ale offering but it’s not too far off it either.

Brewed In: Peterborough, England
Brewery: Oakham Ales / The Brewery Tap
First Brewed: 1993
Also Known As: Oakham JHB
Type: Golden/Blond Ale
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Drygate (Glasgow)
Price: £3.60

Hatherwood Ruby Rooster

November 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.35

Another beer received as a gift for my birthday now, this one will be my second beer to fall under the ‘Hatherwood’ banner from the Wychwood brewery and following on from their Golden Goose bitter, it is another that is contract brewed by them for Lidl supermarkets in the UK. After reviewing a bottle of Hatherwood Golden Goose recently and being particularly blown away by the beer I’m not really expecting a lot from this one and if it proves be another drinkable, standard bitter then I guess I’ll consider it a success but you never known, it might even surprise me.

Hatherwood Ruby Rooster

Appearance (4/5): Ruby to deep amber coloured with a slightly cloudy body and a half centimetre head that is foamy and light tan coloured, covering the entire surface of the beer but eventually starting to thin out around the edges.
Aroma (6/10): Sweet with some roasted malts and caramel coming through early on, there is some sugars too and quite a strong toffee aroma to this one. I could detect some nutty aromas and a little bread with some biscuit malts towards the end.
Taste (7/10): Quite a nutty tasting beer with lots of sweetness early on, most notably a toffee taste but there was also some caramel coming through as well. This one was very earthy on the tastebuds with some pale and roasted malts around the middle before the bitterness began to assert itself towards the end. It was definitely a basic tasting beer but it seemed to be put together well and wasn’t a bad tasting one.
Palate (3/5): Smooth and featuring a medium body with light carbonation, this one was quite easy and sessionable to drink with some nice sweetness and moderate bitterness coming through alongside some pleasantly earthy touches; basic but enjoyable with a pleasant balance.

Overall (13/20): There was a good amount of sweetness coming through on top of some earthy and nutty flavours with the beer going down easily. Despite not being a huge fan of bitters in general, this one was a highly enjoyable offering consider it is a beer contract brewed for a budget supermarket.

Brewed In: Witney, England
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery
First Brewed: 2013
Full Name: Lidl Hatherwood Ruby Rooster
Type: English Bitter
Abv: 3.8%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Lidl
Price: Gift

Hatherwood Golden Goose

November 11, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.0

A new beer for me from the Wychwood Brewery now and one that they brew especially for Lidl supermarkets in the UK, this is a bottle I received as a gift recently and will amazingly be the first English bitter that I will have reviewed since I tried a bottle of Yule Love It! from Thwaites brewery at the end of January; and I don’t even recall trying any others between then and now if I’m honest. The style used to be one that I regularly picked up, mainly because bitters are usually easy to find and cheap here but it is a style that I’ve avoided of late. Despite it still being one of the top ten most rated styles for me, I tend to opt for more hoppy offerings than traditional ones these days but I’m hoping this one will take me back and that it is one that I can enjoy since I have another from the same brewery to try after this one.

Hatherwood Golden Goose

Appearance (3/5): This bottle pours quite a light copper colour with a very clear body and is topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that is white and foamy looking, managing to cover the surface of the beer for the first minute of so before turning patchy.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly boozy on the nose as the beer was being poured, there is an abundance of English style hops with fuggle and golding both present and bring some light sweetness with them. There was a biscuit malt aroma and some bread with a few earthy notes and pale malts present as well without it being a particularly strong one on the nose.
Taste (6/10): Quite similar to the nose with some boozy flavours sneaking through early on despite being quite a light, 3.8% beer. There was some earth hops and a few biscuit flavours before some background caramel sweetness make itself known. I could detect some bread and doughy flavours with touches of pale malts backing it up along with the odd touch of grass; again the flavours weren’t the strongest but they weren’t particularly weak either thankfully.
Palate (3/5): Quite an earthy and, as I’ve mentioned already, boozy beer on the palate with some grains showing and a fair amount of bitterness as well, although that was to be expected given the style of the beer. The beer was a medium bodied one that seemed well carbonated for the style, it was perhaps a little overdone even. There was a nice amount of flavour coming through at least though and the balance seemed good as well.

Overall (12/20): This one wasn’t too bad an effort for what it was, a basic English style bitter that is a style I’ve gone off a lot lately and one  that I hardly ever pick up if I’m honest. There was a nice combination of pale and earthy malts mixed with some English style, traditional hops and touches of sweetness but there wasn’t much to set the beer alight and get me interested. Overall the beer was an easy one to drink, especially given the low alcohol content but there did seem to be boozy elements to it which weren’t great to be honest; drinkable but not one to look out for.

Brewed In: Witney, England
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery
First Brewed: Brewery since 1983
Full Name: Lidl Hatherwood Golden Goose
Type: English Bitter
Abv: 3.8%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Lidl
Price: Gift

Unmistakably Bill’s

Rating: 3.65

This one is a beer that I’ve seen a lot of people picking up recently and that was a big part of the reason I grabbed a bottle when I spotted it in an Aldi supermarket recently, I was also happy to get one as it’s a new Caledonian brewery beer for me and will be my fourteenth beer from the brewery thus far. The beer takes its name from ex-rugby legend and commentator Bill McLaren, also known as ‘the voice of rugby’ who passed away back in 2010. I believe this beer was first introduced in 2014, a few years after Bill’s death but for one reason or another it seems to be a lot more readily available in recent months. Hopefully everyone is onto something with this one and it’s a good offering from Caledonian, I’ll soon find out either way though.

Unmistakably Bill's

Appearance (4/5): Light copper in colour and with quite a clear body, the beer is topped with a centimetre and a half tall head that is foamy white in colour and holds well over the opening couple of minutes whilst leaving a little lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (7/10): This one starts with some strong malts and a toffee aroma that has some biscuit in there too before some touches of coffee made themselves known which was surprising. The beer was quite bitter on the nose with some touches of sweetness around the middle; most notably some butterscotch.
Taste (7/10): Starting with some caramel malts and a little toffee, the beer is fairly sweet with a little butterscotch and sugar that make an appearance soon after. There is a few touches of fruit around the middle and a slightly nutty taste that has some roasted malts towards the end as well.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and sweeter than expected, the beer is a nutty one with some nice bitterness in there too. The beer is moderately carbonated with touches of dryness right at the end and a slightly creamy feel to it.

Overall (13/20): Not a bad example of the style at all, this one was quite enjoyable and well-balanced beer that went down a lot easier than I thought it would without truly excelling in any noticeable way. There was a fairly nice variety of flavour and I liked the touches of caramel sweetness dotted throughout, they seemed to work well with the bitterness and the beer proved an easy one to finish.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Caledonian Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014
Also Known As: Caledonian Bill’s
Type: English Pale Ale
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Cardonald)
Price: £1.49

Yule Love It!

February 9, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.35

This one turned out to be my first beer purchase of 2015, a bottle that I spotted in Home Bargains the other week and thought I should pick up as I had assumed it was a one off Christmas release. As it turns out the beer was first released in November or December 2013 before being re-released just before Christmas last year as well, nonetheless there is no guarantee it’ll be available next year again so I’m glad I picked it – it should however be noted that it is currently on special in some Tesco stores in the UK at the reduced price of 99p. The beer is an English bitter brewed by Thwaites and despite the name and label on the bottle, I’m not entirely sure why this one is a Christmas beer as there doesn’t seem to be any twist on the style, hopefully that means it is at least a decent bitter, let’s find out.

Yule Love It!

Appearance (4/5): Pale to medium amber with a clear body and a few fine bubbles rising to the surface of the beer. The head is a centimetre tall one with a foamy texture and some further build of around the sides of the glass with retention proving to be about average with little movement of the opening ninety seconds or so.
Aroma (7/10): More fruity on the nose than I had been expecting, this one has plenty of biscuit notes coming through with some hops and citrus as well but the earthy and grassy hops seem to be the most noticeable, initially at least. The aroma is quite a nice and well balanced one with some hints of sweetness towards the end.
Taste (6/10): Earthy malts and biscuit with some fruit comes through early on in the taste as well, not quite as in your face as the nose was but there is definitely some there that is easy enough to detect. There is a slight sweetness to proceedings with some faint caramel also making itself known alongside some bitterness that seems to be present throughout.
Palate (3/5): Smooth with a light medium body and a slight fizz to the palate of this one, there is some bitterness from the start with the sweetness more noticeable towards the end of the beer but in truth this one is fairly standard for an English bitter.

Overall (13/20): Not a bad effort from Thwaites, a fruity and definitely drinkable offering that went down fairly easily without really standing out. I’m not really sure what makes this one a Christmas beer other than the name of it because there wasn’t much in the way of spice or dark fruits, it was a fairly traditional tasting English bitter but a good one nonetheless; not one I’m likely to go back to but it was worth picking up anyway.

Brewed In: Blackburn, England
Brewery: Daniel Thwaites Brewery PLC
First Brewed: 2013
Type: English Bitter
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Home Bargains
Price: £1.50

Joblings Swinging Gibbet

January 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.25

My first beer from the Jarrow brewery now and a beer that I received as a Christmas gift recently, drinking it soon after but this is me just getting round to uploading my review. The beer is seemingly one of the first beer the brewery, launched back in 2002, ever produced and it looks to have been a year round offering since. The beer takes its name from a tale from the town of Jarrow’s history, that of William Jobling who is believed to have been wrongly convicted of murdering a local Magistrate, a crime that he was executed and hung from a gibbet on Jarrow Slake. The beer is also a CAMRA Gold Medal winner as ‘Champion Beer of Festival’ in the past so it’s definitely one that I had high hopes for.

Joblings Swinging Gibbet

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber in colour and quite clear looking, the beer is topped with a large, three centimetre tall head that looks foamy and an off-white colour. Retention is about what you’d expect for the style with it slowly reducing to about half its original size over the opening few minutes.
Aroma (6/10): Bitter on the nose with a lot of toasted malts and some medium strength caramel. The beer had quite a few earthy hops coming through as well, there was some biscuit notes and a hint of burnt sugar following soon after. I got a whiff of some toffee towards the end of the beer but to be honest it was fairly standard as far as English bitters go.
Taste (7/10): Bitter with a faint, fruity backing that had a lot of earthy flavours to it. There was some light hops and biscuit that helped the taste match the nose well and there was a few pale malts as well but again the beer was quite basic.
Palate (3/5): Light to medium bodied with quite a bitter mouthfeel and a smooth body. Carbonation was quite light and there was some dryness towards the end.

Overall (11/20): This one was an easy-going, inoffensive and fairly average bitter that was easy to drink but done little to catch my imagination or make it memorable. Whilst certainly drinkable, it somehow seemed a little plain and basic sadly and as such it’s not one I’m likely to pick up again I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, England
Brewery: Jarrow Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2002
Type: English Bitter
Abv: 4.1%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Fenwicks (Newcastle)
Price: Gift